Saturday, April 9, 2016

A letter to Heaven

     Dear Gran,

     What's up? (hehehe) I hope your doing great in Heaven with our Maker and the angels as well as with Tatay and all the people that you loved. I know you are in a peaceful place now.
     Its been six years now Gran and the thought of you still makes me cry. All through out these years a memory of you would pop up and it will bring tears in my eyes regardless I'm in the comfort of my room or I'm in public. Every time I hear the songs you loved to sing I don't know why it gets me sentimental and emotional that I would always end up crying, maybe because I grew up with those songs, every morning without fail you sang those songs the moment you wake up along with all the stories about your younger days and every morning without fail I would wake up with you singing and telling me those stories that sometimes I had a dream corporation.
 I'm choked up right now writing this letter and I know as I go on with this my eyes would start its water works.

Funny how we started calling you Gran or Granny I think it was me who started it. Before that we call you Nanay and then sometimes I would call you Mala (a not so polite way of calling an elder but for me Mala became my pet name for you and I would call you Mala with love but sometimes it was to tease you because you would get angry and you were funny when you're angry heheheh)

Growing up you are our guide, our light to my siblings and my cousins, especially for me, ate Lady, Kuya Gold and Kuya Sandy because our parents was working outside the country you're not just a lola to us but also our Nanay along with our aunts and uncles who helped you raised us. You were very fair with all of your grandchildren, we all remember how you would take each and everyone of us to town by schedule. You brought us to trips by schedule and bought us things and sometimes it should be a secret so others would not felt bad about it. I remember how you would make dress for me or for us. You were always making something in your sewing machine. I even knew a thing or two in sewing back then. You were very hands on in taking care of me as far as I can remember maybe because I was the youngest? or maybe because I had a lot of alibis just to missed school. For example if it was raining I would say its cold to take a bath so I will not go to school but you would boil up a kettle of water and mix it up for me to have a lukewarm bath since we don't have a shower and it was you who gave baths way back then. Sometimes I would say my tummy aches or my tooth aches or my head aches just to missed school. During those times you would always take care of me. Though sometimes my alibis didn't work. You're a loving lola but also you're quiet a disciplinarian. I remember how many times you scold me if I'm being naughty and how many times you would use that single stick from a broomstick because it really stings a lot. Sometimes you won't allow us to play outside because we were naughty and we should always take a nap in the afternoon.

It was me who would always sleep with you, we would sleep in this small bed and every night we would pray and in the morning if I peed on the bed you would clean and wash it up. When we were sick you took care of us. Whenever I had tantrums you were there to calm me or to talked me out of it.

You were not just a loving grandmother to us but also you were a loving mother to your children. You became the strong matriarch of our family since Tatay passed away. I remember Gran sometimes my aunts and uncles would have a misunderstanding it was you who would try to fix it.I also remember how supportive you were to them. You were a good mother-in-law and also you were a loving great grandmother. I remember even in your old age you tried to take care of your 2 great grandchildren.
I remember how you took care of your youngest son because he is sickly I've seen it Gran, your love for Dodong. I remember you taking him to doctors appointment and you were by his side whenever he is sick. Even when your memories are fading you always ask for him, always looking for him and worries for him. You were a great mother not just to Dodong but to all of your children and they knew that. You remain a faithful and loving wife to Tatay eventhough he was long gone. I don't really have a memory with him but you would always say he is a good man, a responsible, understanding and loving husband and father. If Tatay was still alive when I was a kid I would call him Gramps (hehehe). There were times you would cry loudly calling Tatay's name sometimes you talked to him, as far as I can remember you only cry like that if we have big problems I didn't get it back then. Now I realize that life was tough, problems and all must be tired of fighting alone, of being strong and maybe above all you just missed him... I know that you are together now.

I also remember how you love to dance and sing. I remember how you loved our dogs that later on with the new ones they became a struggle and constant argument for us because you kept on feeding them when you started to forget things.I remember how good you were in English even though you only studied till 2nd grade and with that you would always tell us to study hard, be good in school and pursue our education because you didn't get the chance to finish school, you keep on reminding us the importance of education. Every time we sit on that bench under the tree you would always tell me stories about your younger days like the dances you went to, the boys you use to love and the boys that admired you, your life as a kid and your struggles when you had your own family, on how you would walked miles and miles just to sell food and crops for you to provide for your family. I remember how proud you were every time you tell me the story of how you were able to send all your children to school and most of them were able to graduate. Most of the time you told me to become a teacher because it a respectable job and the pay is good like my aunt. Stories of your children when they were young and stories about Tatay. Of course! I remember now, your stories about supernatural like you-know-what-I-mean (hehehe). I also remember how you would bargain crops or rice to the ice cream man whenever we don't have money and we want to eat ice cream.

There was this time Gran when I stole a 500 instead of a 5 (way back then 5 pesos was a bill and not a coin) I panicked that time because everybody was like arguing who took that big amount of money. It took me days to give back the money but I was planning on just dropping it on the bed anonymously (heh) but you saw me I was like "I'm screwed" I'm preparing for any punishment but instead you talked to me tenderly you asked me this and that and you explained to me why it is wrong to steal. I can't remember what happened after that. Thinking about it now I think you knew all along that it was me, you were just waiting for me to confess. You taught us to be a good sons and daughters to our parents, be respectful, help others, share to other and most of all you taught and showed us the value of family, that we should always be loving and understanding with each other.

When you started forgetting things it was quiet a struggle for all of us, it was hard Gran, but also there are happy and funny moments along with it, like we would tell you to just sit down and the next thing we knew you were gone. When I checked outside the road you were walking so fast and going nowhere but if I stayed with you for a walk you were very slow. Sometimes kids would come running and shouting about you walking and wandering outside and I would ran and argue with you to go home and you would scold me for scolding you (heheheh). Ahhhh so much memories with you but I can't write them all it would take me forever if I will.

Gran I want to say SORRY.

Sorry because I didn't pay much attention to you when you started to forget things. I would get angry to you. Sorry for getting angry with you when you do things over and over. Sorry for my lack of patience sometimes. Sorry for that time that I disrespected you. Sorry because there were times I was scolding you if you didn't do things right. Sorry for arguing with you with the dogs. Sorry for brushing you off sometimes whenever you ask the same questions for a hundredth time. Sorry for all the not so good things Gran.

Thank you...
Thank you Gran because I learned to be more patient, to be more understanding and to be more loving. Thank you because I get to hug you and play mom when you started to forget things. Thank you for being a good and loving grandmother. Thank you for all the values and lessons that you instill within us. Thank you for disciplining us and for not spoiling us. Thank you for your warmth. Thank you for your love and being the person that you were.

On your last days I thank the Lord for giving me the chance to really take care of you. I think it was a blessing that I quit my job because I get to spend time with you when you were very ill and wasn't able to walk. I remember you calling my name and looking for me even though your memories are fading. You would ask me "Where is Aying?" and I would answer its me Gran, its me "Aying". Thank you for giving mom a chance to make up for all the lost years.

There's one thing Gran that I couldn't get over with and sometimes its all I can remember, that day when you finally rest, when I woke up to check on you and seeing your lifeless face and all the emotions that I felt the denial the fear the guilt and regret and the realization that you're really gone. I don't want to dwell on it but sometimes that memory is so strong, I don't want to forget it either because that's my last moment and memory  with you. I want to think of it in a good light.

I'm writing this letter because I didn't get the chance to say some of the things that I wanna tell you. It is also my way of telling you that I miss you and I love you. And also I am writing this letter for me to be reminded of how wonderful you are as our Granny and how great you are as a person. I know its very late but I think you are happy that most of us ended up being a teacher. We will always remember you Gran and all the things and values that you taught us. Sending our love to you in Heaven.


"What the children need most are the essentials that Grandparents provide in abundance"

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